Blessed Anthony Grassi’s Story
(November 13, 1592 – December 13, 1671)
Anthony”s father passed away when Anthony was only 10 years old. He inherited his father’s devotion to our Lady of Loretto. He frequented the Local Church built for the Oratorian’s fathers as a schoolboy and became a member of their order at the age of 17.
He soon gained a reputation among his religious community as a walking bible, for his unique ability to grasp scriptures, texts and theology. He was often tormented by scruples sometimes and left him at the early hours of his first mass celebration. He experiences tranquillity and serenity from that day on.
At the age of 29, Anthony was hit by a lightning bolt while at the Holy House in Loretto, praying. He was instantly paralyzed and had to be carried off the premises and thought to be dead or on the verge of dying. He recovered after some days of treatment. His acute indigestion went off miraculously. His scorched garments were donated to the Loretto Church as a thanksgiving for the gift of a new Life.
He was regarded as an outstanding confessor and was often sought out on the recourse of that. He simply and directly listened to petitions, would usually utter few words, give penance and words of absolution, often drawing from his special gift of reading motives, intentions and consciences.
In 1635, he was appointed a superior at the Fermo Oratory. He as was so reputable that he got re-elected every three years till he passed away. He was an introvert, meek at heart, peaceful and gentle. He was obedient to God’s word, keeping to the Oratorian Constitutions and urging the community to do the same.
He rejected the idea of civic or social commitments, instead, he would go out day or night to visit the dying or sick or anyone who needs his services. As he got older, he got a gift of self and God-awareness, which he used for the rest of his life to console weary hearts or warn against evil.
At old age, he suffered the humility of having his physical attributes fail him one after the other. He lost his preaching ability, after losing all his teeth. He later stopped confessions as he couldn’t keep up with the demands. He was later left behind the confines of his room. He received Holy Communion there, each day. Before he died, he reconciled two brothers who hated each other. His liturgical feast is set on every 15th of December.